Marshall Project Originals
New Orleans Battled Mass Incarceration. Then Came the Backlash Over Violent Crime.
After decades of a “lock them up” approach, voters put progressives in key criminal justice posts. Now a rise in violent crime is their toughest challenge yet.
Prosecutors Who Want to Curb Mass Incarceration Hit a Roadblock: Tough-on-Crime Lawmakers
In an age-old battle over local control, some legislators seek to wrest power from prosecutors who aim to curb mass incarceration
Nothing Has Made Me Feel More American Than Going to Jail
I was born in D.C. to South Indian parents. But it wasn’t until I had to negotiate the criminal justice system that I fully realized what many Americans of color have to deal with.
We’re Tracking 7 Ballot Measures That Could Change Criminal Justice
Find out whether voters said yea or nay to legalizing drugs, allowing people on parole to vote and run for office, and more.
The Future of Policing
What do advocates mean when they call for “defunding,” “abolishing” or “reimagining” the police?
RBG’s Mixed Record on Race and Criminal Justice
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a revered feminist icon. Her legacy on issues such as prisoners’ rights, capital punishment, racial justice and tribal sovereignty has been less examined.
These Political Candidates Are Embracing Their Criminal Records
A group of 2020 hopefuls say their first-hand experience with the justice system makes them best suited to fix it.
For Those Serving Long Sentences, Politics is a Lifeline
Respondents who’ve spent decades behind bars were more politically engaged than their peers, but they’re also the most cynical.
Facing Intimidation, Black Women Prosecutors Say: "Enough"
A lawsuit filed by St. Louis's first black female prosecutor highlights the virulent opposition progressive black women in the role say they have encountered.
What Do Abolitionists Really Want?
For years they’ve pushed a radical vision of a world without prisons. Now, the mainstream is taking note.
How One County Became a Lab for California’s Prison Reform
San Joaquin went all in. Now it’s a model.
1,000 Days of Opening Statement
The Marshall Project’s Andrew Cohen on how he curates our popular morning newsletter and what’s changed in criminal justice news since it began four years ago.
Voters Want Criminal Justice Reform. Are Politicians Listening?
Midterms show wide support across party lines for changing the system.
How Jeff Sessions Is Undermining Trump’s Prison Reform Agenda
The president wants to send more prisoners to halfway houses. The Justice Department is doing exactly the opposite.
How Prosecutor Reform Is Shaking Up Small DA Races
The goals of the effort are trickling down, even if the money isn’t.
Thelton Henderson transformed California’s criminal justice system. Now comes the backlash.
Cyntoia Brown and Our Twisted System
The process that sent a teenage sex-trafficking victim to prison for life didn’t fail. It worked as it was designed to.
We are Witnesses
The American criminal justice system consists of 2.2 million people behind bars, plus tens of millions of family members, corrections and police officers, parolees, victims of crime, judges, prosecutors and defenders.
Debating Risk-Assessment Tools
Experts weigh in on whether algorithms have a place in our criminal justice system.
Can This Marriage Be Saved?
Left and right came together on criminal justice reform. Then Trump happened.
At Least 61,000 Nationwide Are in Prison for Minor Parole Violations
But the number is probably far higher, Marshall Project survey shows.
The Fine Print in New York’s Raise the Age Law
Thousands of juveniles could still head right to adult court.
Everything You Think You Know About Mass Incarceration Is Wrong
Or at least misleading, says this contrarian scholar. Here’s why it matters.
What We Can Learn from the Amazing Drop in Juvenile Incarceration
Lesson One: Don’t make policies when emotions are running high.
Dear President Trump: Here’s How to get Right on Crime, Part 3
Listen to Pence, Carson, Priebus, Kushner — and look out your window.
Dear President Trump: Here’s How to get Right on Crime, Part 2
End overcriminalization, reward success, pay attention to the heroin crisis.
Dear President Trump: Here’s How to get Right on Crime, Part 1
Focus on intent, tailor the punishment to the crime, prepare prisoners for life after incarceration.
John Grisham on the State of Criminal Justice
“There are thousands of innocent people in prison serving long sentences for crimes committed by others.”
Some of Our Best Work in 2016
In-depth investigations, insightful features and one story to give us hope.
Why Congress May Bring Criminal Justice Reform Back to Life
Four reasons a bipartisan bill has a better chance than you think
The States Where Voters Decided to Give Criminal Justice Reform a Try
From early release to bail reform, reform efforts gain some ground.
These Prosecutors Campaigned for Less Jail Time — And Won
Reform-minded candidates unseat incumbents in some races.
Criminal Justice Reform: An Obituary
Obama and Newt Gingrich. Koch Industries and the ACLU. With friends like that, how could it lose?
The Obama Criminal Justice Reforms That Trump Could Undo
A close look at the “executive actions” that the sweep of a pen could end.
Is It Time to Roll Back the Laws on Spreading HIV?
Take our quiz on which criminal penalties remain in force.
Five Voices on Reforming the Front End of Justice
While the feds fiddle, some locals are innovating.
Join Our Chat On Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System
We’re talking all about mental illness and justice during our next Justice Talk with Digg, on Wednesday, June 1. For context, browse our guide to key reading on the issue.
Some of Our Best Work of the Past Year
From David Simon's Baltimore anguish to elite police fraternities to teens behind bars.
Seven Things to Know About Repeat Offenders
A new report looks at recidivism among inmates released from federal prisons.
“Ghettoside” Author Jill Leovy on What We Have Learned Since Rodney King
Not nearly enough, she says
Join Us For Justice Talk: A New Conversation Series With The Marshall Project and Digg
Our first discussion will be Wednesday, Feb. 24, on how the police predict crime.
What Kalief Browder’s Mother Thinks Should Happen to Rikers
‘There was nothing I could do with him being in there.’
Justice Reform, RIP?
The vaunted bipartisan drive to enact federal criminal justice reform is not quite dead. But its pulse is faint.
Is Charles Koch a Closet Liberal?
Not hardly. But he’s for rolling back the war on drugs, ending mass incarceration, and letting former convicts vote.
How We Counted the Juveniles Sent to Prison for Life
A law practice finds thousands whose sentences could be affected by Miller v. Alabama
Who is Putting the Most People in Jail? Not New York, Chicago, or LA.
A new tool drills down on hidden incarceration rates.
Our Prisons in Black and White
The race gap for adults is shrinking. Why is it widening for juveniles?
Radley, DeRay, and Piper on Obama’s Conversation with The Marshall Project
Other voices from the criminal justice community weigh in.
Obama’s Final 500 Days
People from across the political spectrum suggest criminal justice reforms the president should enact during his remaining time in office.
‘Justice and Redemption Go Hand in Hand.’
A closer look at the president’s speech on criminal justice reform.
Scott Walker on Crime and Punishment: Back to the ‘90s
As his rivals ease up, one candidate hangs tough
What Prisons Can Learn From Schools
Lessons from education reform on transforming an expensive, ineffective system.
Too Old to Commit Crime?
Why people age out of crime, and what it could mean for how long we put them away.